What makes a great landing page?

There are some landing page characteristics that almost guarantee conversion success, regardless of the industry you’re in or the product, service or concept you’re trying to sell.

The content you craft and the design you choose will largely depend on the audience you’re speaking to, and whereabouts they sit in the buying cycle - but follow the below principles and you’ll be almost certain to see an improvement in enquiries, sales or signups.

It’s especially important to nail the basics of landing page design given the uncertainty that’s happening as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, more than ever, businesses are competing online for attention in what is a very unstable and volatile economy - so by optimising your landing pages for the best results, you’re taking a small but important step to capturing more of your market during this difficult time.

Let’s go back to basics. What is the purpose of a landing page?

The fundamental purpose of a landing page is to turn reader interest into action. It can be used to promote a product, showcase a service, or introduce your audience to content that will be of value to them.

It will often be developed to highlight one single, clear call to action, so the reader knows exactly what they need to do to find out more, contact your company or make a purchase.

How are landing pages used?

Businesses use landing pages to generate more conversions from their advertising efforts. They are typically used to provide more information on a topic after a potential client clicks on an external ad that’s been triggered by a specific keyword search (within Google’s Search Network, for example).

It’s the ad that captures the reader’s attention, but it’s the landing page that ultimately convinces them to part with their cash!

Does your homepage count as a landing page?

There are few circumstances where you can get away with using your homepage as a landing page – for the best results, we always recommend developing a separate page for each product or service you’re offering.

Homepages aren’t usually specific enough to be used within campaigns. They are designed to provide readers with a broader view of what they can expect from your business, not cover a single proposition. Using a homepage as a landing page is a common issue we see with Google Ads campaigns.

The 7 key elements of a successful landing page

Turn your attention to these important aspects of your page, and you’ll be likely to experience a much better return from your campaigns!

A compelling headline

This is the main draw; the part of your landing page that’s going to grab the reader’s attention and compel them to learn more.

Make sure your headline tells your readers exactly what your product or service can do for them, in a straightforward way. (Most marketers recommend that your headline is no longer than 20 words, so make this your aim).

Once you’ve nailed your opening statement, put together an accompanying subheading that reinforces the key message and goes into a little more detail about your proposition. This is the piece of copy that’s going to keep the user interested in your proposition.

Another thing: be aware of the copy you used in your ad to get people to your landing page in the first place. The messaging needs to be consistent, and the theme of the page needs to match the theme of the ad!

Great design

To avoid confusing and overloading your potential customers, you need to create a landing page template that’s clean, colourful and easy to read.

Use your brand’s standard colours, typefaces and image styles to establish consistency and make it easy for your users to recognise your business online. Wherever possible, stick to contrasting tones to keep your content legible; make good use of white space to keep your design clutter-free; and limit your colour palette to no more than three shades to avoid a look that’s decidedly amateur.

Thoughtful imagery

Did you know that the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text? The pictures you use on your landing page are powerful tools. Your main banner image is especially important, as it will need to reinforce your headline message. Be sure to choose photos or illustrations that are large, eye-catching and relevant to what you’re offering – and use the highest quality imagery wherever possible.

There’s nothing wrong with using stock images per se, if they work within the context of your message. But to really make an impact and inject a touch of personality into your landing page, use material you’ve collected and edited yourself.

Benefits, benefits, benefits!

Once you’ve come up with a killer headline and subheading, you’ll need to use your content to explain what you’re offering in more detail.

Don’t just list its features and functions. Talk about the benefits. Discuss the problem that your product or service can solve. Explain how your proposition can improve the life of your potential customer.

All the content on your landing page – from your opening line to your closing call to action – should be benefits-driven. Benefits make the reader feel good. Benefits trigger an emotional response – and your prospective customer will be much more likely to complete an action if they feel emotionally driven to do so.

Mention of the worst-case scenario

One way to lead by emotion is to let your reader know what could happen if they don’t pay attention to what’s on offer.

The theory of loss aversion tells us that people are much more worried about avoiding losses than acquiring the equivalent gain. For example, the negative emotions associated with losing £100 are felt twice as intensely as the positive emotions from receiving £100.

From an advertising perspective, this means that telling your readers what they stand to lose from not completing your action works much more effectively than listing what they could gain from working with you.

Here are some real-world examples of how you could use the theory of loss aversion to your advantage:

If you’re an office equipment leasing company, you could focus on how much time your staff will lose to technology that’s slow, clunky and constantly underperforming. (Everyone values time, because they never seem to have enough of it!)

If you’re a building surveyor, you could focus on the consequences of not investing in great advice at the start of a building project; poor guidance, a lack of attention to detail and inadequate health and safety could lead to lost money, time and even legal problems.

If you’re a bespoke kitchen installer, you could focus on how much more money your customers will need to spend on their home improvements in the longer term if they opt for low quality products and shoddy workmanship in the shorter term.

Confirmation that you’re a real company

Everyone wants to be sure that the company they’re dealing with is legitimate and credible. To establish trust in your brand and prove you’re a genuine business, make sure your customers know exactly how to get in touch with you – and provide them with multiple ways to do so.

At a basic level, make sure you include your company phone number and/or email address on your landing page. If you want to go one step further, you could feed in an interactive map that displays your company address, or add live chat functionality to your website so your prospects can ask you questions without having to click away from the page.

A strong call to action

Decide what you want your readers to do once they’ve consumed your content – and make it quick and easy for them to complete this call to action (CTA). Examples of good CTAs include contact forms, ‘call now’ buttons (designed with mobile users in mind), ‘request a brochure’ and ‘request a callback’ options.

Always use a short, snappy, exciting piece of copy to ‘sign off’ your page and make it clear what the next step needs to be.

And remember, CTAs work best when they’re presented in a button format and highlighted in a colour that isn’t used anywhere else on the page, or one that sits outside your brand colour spectrum. A contrasting or unfamiliar shade will draw in the eye.

And another thing…

Be mindful that the content you use within your landing pages needs to be accurately reflected in the copy you use for your ads. These two elements work hand in hand to draw in, then captivate, your potential customers - so they need to contain highly specific common themes and be designed to lead the reader on, and through, a clear journey.

On a basic level, don’t be tempted to point your users towards landing pages that don’t contain the information they’re expecting!

Not sure if your landing page follows best practice guidelines?

Contact the team at Multi Layer Media to find out if your landing page is already set up for success, or if improvements can be made to boost your conversion rate.

Take advantage of our free landing page audit offer today!

Posted By
Aaron Suleyman